eBay used to be a bit of a Wild West when it came to luxury watches. You could most certainly find some absolute gems – vintage originals, discontinued models – but there was always that element of caveat emptor about the process. Not anymore. Watch connoisseurs can browse easy because eBay – which is now one of the largest luxury watch marketplaces in the world, with a watch selling every 28 seconds – has introduced its new eBay Authenticity Guarantee programme for watch listings valued over £2,000.
Rather than rely on the honesty of the seller, every watch above this price bracket will be fully vetted and verified by Stoll & Co., one of the US’s most respected watch service centres that has recently set up a UK base. The process is simple: once you’ve purchased a timepiece from eBay’s dedicated ‘Authenticity Guaranteed’ section of its watch category, the seller is obliged to send the chosen piece to be authenticated.
When the watch is received, one of Stoll & Co’s team will check the listing title, description, and compare the watch against the images on eBay. They will also inspect the crown, bezel, dial, case, clasp/buckle, hands and reference number, as well as non-watch additions such as boxes and presentation pillow should they be included. The watch is even given a unique barcode, so it can be tracked, and embedded with NFC chip technology to guarantee that the authentication has taken place, which will make resale easier. Stoll & Co will act as a middleman should the buyer want to return the watch to the seller, ensuring the timepiece’s condition is as it was before it is passed on.
Three Of The Best
Omega Seamaster Vintage Classic 1960s
Before Daniel Craig paired a sports watch with a suit, this is probably the type of Seamaster most Bond afficionados would have imagined 007 had tucked under his immaculately starched cuff. Purists might baulk at the retrofitted strap but that can be changed and then you have in your possession a watch Vesper Lynd would undoubtedly identify correctly.
Ikepod Solaris Solid 18ct White Gold
Put down your Apple watch and pick up the original. Ikepod was the watch brand founded by Marc Newson and Oliver Ike back in 1994 and, though it originally made its name with rather bulbous rounded designs, in 2009 it launched the Solaris, with a bevelled- edge square case that calls to mind the contours of the Apple watch Newson went on to design. Considering this is in 18ct white gold, its price is considerably less than its weight. And you get to own a piece of design history into the bargain.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Dirty Dozen Military Watch
According to those in the know, this is the best watch of the Dozen – the roster of 11 Swiss watch brands and one Brit who designed tool watches for the British military. This one is in remarkably good nick. Yes, the case is scratched but, according to the seller, the movement, the manual wind Cal 479, is original and so are the hands. It’s a great opportunity to own a vintage original rather than a reissue.
What Does Ape Think?
It’s an amazing addition to eBay’s preowned and vintage watch market that will make clicking on that “Buy it now” button less nerve-wracking and more exciting.
A paid partnership with eBay Watches – words and opinion are Ape’s own